Saturday, January 27, 2007

Spring preview: Rowan

It's that time again: a few weeks before the new Rowan Magazine will come out. Even though there's still plenty of winter left in this hemisphere of the world [updated to remove my Northern-Hemisphere-normativity, with apologies to M-H], and there's still plenty of time to wear all those sweaters and socks we've been knitting on, we are daydreaming about spring. Here is some of what I was able to glean about the spring '07 line from Rowan and its sister companies, RYC and Jaeger. Get ready to drool.

Let's start with new yarns:
  • Damask, which is DK weight, is a blend of 57% viscose, 21% acrylic and 22% linen, a yarn with slightly different color plies and a fairly dressy look.

  • Bamboo Tape is a, well, tape made out of bamboo. (No duh, right?) 100% bamboo, in fact, and around worsted weight, with its own book of designs by Marie Wallin and Martin Storey. Looks like a chained construction. Think drape, more relaxed fit than we've seen, and that gorgeous bamboo sheen.

Summer Tweed gets some new colors for '07, along with The Kasbah Collection, a booklet featuring 12 new designs in Summer Tweed -- including some stripes, an assymetric cardigan with a keyhole opening in the front (?), and what appears to be a lacy dress.

Four new shades of Kid Silk Haze -- biscuit, black, frosty lavender and a dusty sage; an updating of the Handknit DK Cotton palette with ten new colors; a couple of new colors in Cotton Rope, Cotton Glace, Calmer and 4-ply Cotton.

Magazine No. 41, thankfully, looks a bit more traditional and accessible than last year's Maori abomination. Some of the preview shots show a pink cardigan, 3/4 sleeves and a wide V-neck, with ruffle and embroidery trim photographed in Ye Olde English Greenhouse; a lovely lace stole which looks like it's in Kid Silk Haze, photographed in Ye Olde English Meadowe of Wildeflowers; some nautical stripes (shot near Ye Olde English Coaste?); a stylized intarsia throw (or maybe a very large and drapey jacket -- it's hard to tell from the shot -- that has Kaffe written all over it (oh God, how embarrassing it will be if I'm wrong....);

and a muted striped short-sleeve sweater with some chevron patterning.

(Anyone else notice that she's giving us Yanks the one-fingered salute?)

From RYC, we've also got some new yarns and books:
  • Cotton Jeans, a worsted-weight, 100% cotton in an interesting palette of sort of subtly-marled variations in color. Reminds me a little of Debbie Bliss's Denim Cotton Aran, but not quite as heavy. Coast is a collection of 15 designs by Martin Storey featuring Cotton Jeans and Natural Silk Aran (we've got the Natural Silk Aran at Rosie's, and it's a very pretty yarn).
  • Bamboo Soft, a sportweight 100% bamboo, soft and beautiful, with a sheen and lots of drape. Twelve colors, including some neutrals and deep, complex pastels. Nature is the pattern book -- also by the uber-talented Martin Storey -- using Bamboo Soft as well as Luxury Cotton DK.
  • Mother & Baby is yet another new book with 17 knitting designs by-- you guessed it, Martin Storey. Looks like a mix of moms' and kids' designs in Natural Silk Aran and the Cashes (Cashcotton 4-ply, Cashsoft DK and Cashsoft Baby DK). Look at this cute baby blanket, reminiscent of some older Debbie Bliss patterns:

That'll get you over your fear of intarsia. New colors in Cashcotton 4-ply and DK; Luxury Cotton DK: and Natural Silk Aran.

Jaeger is continuing its more contemporary sensibility, while still keeping the professional woman in mind. On the casual side, JB43 features several cardigans with lacy and ruffly edgings, a short-sleeved sweater with some kind of patterning across the chest, and a tunic, also showing a lot of cool pastels.

I'm a little troubled by the furry trim on some of these garments --

-- it's like, so 2003, -- but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now. For the workplace, JB44 has some sweaters and jackets that one could conceivably wear to the office, depending on your dress code, like a black and white Chanel-esque number. The only new Jaeger yarn I see is called Ascot, which is an interesting blend of 85% viscose, 15% elite (which is elastic like Lycra). It knits as a DK and looks pebbly the way Fixation does. New colors have been added in Aqua and Siena 4-ply.

I haven't gotten any hints about Nashua's new line (hint, hint) but as soon as I do, I'll update you. Now get back to those wool socks and finish those sweaters while you still have time to wear them, missy and mister. I'm off to, gulp, the Dubya-Bee (W-B, or Wilkes-Barre, for the blessedly uninitiated).


Anonymous said...

I've seen the previews as well and can add that the magazine this year has quite a lot of models made in cotton glace. I like the bamboo yarn but I think it needs to be knitted very tightly or it will just keep on growing. It's a lot like silk, has no memory at all. Still, the book for the Bamboo Tape is gorgeous with all the designs presented in a japanese-inspired style.

Anonymous said...

So many new things out these days and more coming all the time, we need extra pairs of arms to knit them all. Who needs sleep anyway? It's highly overrated!! ggg


ps... did you get my response to your note about the socks the other day?

M-H said...

Zrrr... you did mean 'most parts of the northern hemisphere', didn't you? Not 'most parts fot he world'? Not a lot of winter going on around these parts.

Carol said...

Right, I'm renewing my Rowan membership. Is it just me or does that blanket have a moon under 'N'? And I hope they've done something suitably British like put 'T' for teapot.

mindy said...

Ohhhh, going to get those. They should make me happy over coffee quite a few mornings. Heaven help me, and DON'T let me do it, but I kind of like that lace dress...

Carol said...

Suitably edited, M-H, with my deepest apologies. And the day after Australia Day, yet.

EB said...

That blanket is seriously adorable.

M-H said...

Thanks Carol. Sorry for the typos - I was on holiday and my proofreading skills were having a little lie down.

Still glorious summer here... :)

Anonymous said...

I also noticed the moon under 'n'. It must not be a moon, but for the life of me I can't say what else it could be.

Carol said...

Hah! N for nighttime?

TrickyTricot said...

G-d, what is it with yarn companies and bamboo. I mean, it's nice to have the option, but in the end, I'm probably just going to buy a nice wool or wool blend...

I actually like the look of that throw/drapey jacket/thing...